Welcome to The Garage. Just like a real garage, we keep all sorts of cool things in The Garage. You’ll find stories, reviews, news, pictures and other stuff about cars and other things we might find in any garage.
Do you have any tips or ideas for things we should cover here in The Garage? If so, the easiest way to reach us is by e-mail at thegarageguy @ rogers.com
What do I know about cars? Why would you care?
There are a lot of so called experts in the wonderful world of the automobile. While I hardly consider myself an expert, cars have been an undeniable force in my life, since before I was born.
In the late Sixties and early Seventies, my dad was an active road racer up here in Ontario, meaning that baby Gary was dragged around race tracks across Ontario. The smell of hot Castrol R was burned into my brain and left a lasting impression.
Growing up, I hung out with the Ranta family & spent many summers turning wrenches on race karts and travelling to tracks all over Ontario. The Ranta garage was a favourite place for me, with possibly the coolest collection of air cooled wonders imaginable. Including a very early Porsche 901, a Hebmuller, a couple of Corvairs and assorted rear engine Volkswagens.
In high school, my buddies and I built a few VW GTI’s to various levels of tune and I began my own competition career with a few auto crosses and navigational rallies. In the late eighties and into the Nineties, the lovely & talented Mrs. Grant and I crewed for a couple of teams in the Firehawk series and regional racing, along with a couple of performance rally teams. At the same time, we were busy racking up miles on the car doing navigational rallies and solo 1 & 2. Eventually we ended up pairing up in a Swift GTi performance rally car. These days, there isn’t much competition here, but all of our kids enjoy lapping as often as they can & we are building a 1965 Spridget lapping day car.
On the professional side, I spent 23 years working in the retail side of the auto industry from lube pit guy to service manager before moving to automotive media full time.
Through all of this, I’ve kept my obsession with cars and car racing alive. For the past few years I’ve been happy to be able to share my passion with the world through TheGarageBlog.com. I also have a weekly news column in the Toronto Star’s Wheels section.
Gary is a member of AJAC and Co-Chair of the Canadian Car of the Year Awards.
Growing up in Connecticut, Tom was lucky to have neighbors that actually drove their vintage Ferrari’s and that V-12 wail must have done a bit of damage somewhere because he has devoted a good amount his adult life writing about cars. In the past, Tom reviewed cars for Philadelphia’s Suburban Express and Westport News in Connecticut.
Tom’s daily driver is a Civic SI, but on the weekends he attacks those coastal roads in his ’76 Porsche 911S. Lucky bastard!
Tom usually covers the auto industry stuff that bores Gary to tears and does a damn fine job. As the weather gets warmer, he has promised to take us on road trips to car shows across the North East. Tom can be reached at bayviewwilliams1 at yahoo.com
Andrew Ling is a car and technology nut who lives in Vancouver, Beautiful British Columbia. His baby pictures nearly all comprise of him holding a toy car in one hand, and an orange spoon in the other, so the “problem” goes back that far. It also explains his prolific love for food and food photography.
He comes from a communications/marketing background and has worked for automotive-related companies such as Edmunds.com, BenzWorld.org since 1999. From track driving, to rally driving to autocross, he has done it all! When he’s not reading about the latest automotive news and trends, he can be found outdoors snapping pictures at various events around town.
Megan Green, a.k.a. Ponycargirl, is a New York City-based professional photographer specializing in automotive photojournalism. She took her first race photo with her Mom’s Kodak Instamatic through a fence at a dirt track, and insists that she’s gotten much better with practice. Her current personal project is a long-term photo essay about dirt track racing at Lebanon Valley Speedway aptly titled “Dirt.”
Megan is a member of the Motor Press Guild (MPG) and Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA).
Allan De La Plante has been shooting hard core sports since the early Seventies, following the Grand Prix circus and the Canadian downhill ski racers known around the world as the Crazy Canucks. He has published books on topics ranging from Pope John Paul II to firefighters and cooking over fire. Perhaps his crown jewel though is the masterfully written, brutally honest book about his good friend from rural Quebec who set the world on fire behind the wheel of a Ferrari.
To purchase one of Allans books or book a speaking engagement you can visit him online.
A graduate of Centennial College, Queens School of Business and OCA Commercial arts; John has been employed by the best graphics art houses and advertising agencies in the city working with some of Canada’s top Production Managers, Art Directors and Writing Teams.
As a Project Manager and a Producer; as well as an artist, John has worked on many projects and assignments that vary from national consumer goods campaigns, fashion catalogues to motor-sports events, in-studio and on location around the world.
John has always had a passionate interest in images and a love for Photography that has been handed down from his Grandfather Claire Walker; a printer by trade and an avid photographer and music lover. I still have a Yashica Double lens reflex in my camera collection along with the surviving 2X2 Dia-positives rescued from his attic.
John has won numerous awards and has images published in trade magazines, catalogues and outdoor signage.
His latest endeavor is oneword- A Creative Solutions Company. oneword with John’s experience will manage technology, techniques and partners to
create efficient and successful creative solutions for his clients.
John lives his wife Grace and two daughters Jessica and Stephanie and puppy Bella in the beautiful West Rouge area of the GTA.
The Garage Blog Alumni
How does one describe Gary Faules? While it may sound a tad cliche or outdated, calling Gary a true renaissance man would not be out of place. Fisherman, hunter, race car driver, writer, entrepreneur and mechanic, Gary has excelled at all of these. Oh yeah, did I mention he was an Olympian too? So what is this guy doing in The Garage? Sharing his passion for everything automotive.
From his humble beginnings as a pit assistant for Dick Smothers’ Formula car back in the Sixties all the way to winning the famed Mil Cumbres stage at the La Carrera Panamericana race, Gary has been deeply immersed in auto racing. Along the way, he has become friends with some of the biggest icons in North American motor racing which guarantees some pretty cool stories for our readers. That’s him up above with the great Phil Hill.
We are more than please that Gary takes the time to share his thoughts on whatever automotive topics that cross his mind. In addition to being an active competitor, Gary is a student of history and often shares stories of racing in the early days of American racing.
When he’s not here in The Garage, Gary is filling the pages of his La Carrera blog.
Who am I? I am a fan of racing just like you.
I was born in North Bay Ontario in 1972. It’s a typical small city in Northern Ontario with the distinction of being the Gateway to the North. When I was 2 my parents moved us to Toronto where my love of cars began. With so many cars on the road I learned their brands before I learned to read. By the age of 4 I was out in the garage with my dad helping him fix the car, change the oil, check the points on the spark plugs, etc. The kind of stuff dads do with their kids when they love their cars.
Fast forward to the age of 14, my father has passed away and my mother was remarrying. We moved back to North Bay and the fact that there were less cars on the road turned my interest towards anything that could race. Snowmobile races, Dirt Bike ice races, tractor races. Anything With a Start/Finish line and some element of speed held my attention. Indy racing and Formula 1. Names like Jackie Stewart and Mario Andretti keep me on the edge of my seat in front of the TV.
Now jump ahead with me to 1999. Tony Stewart’s rookie year in Cup racing in NASCAR. I’ve been to college, moved out on my own and I meet a girl. She’s smart, pretty, and into this thing called NASCAR. So I get to meet her parents and, you guessed it, her Dad is a NASCAR fan. So I started visiting the family every Sunday in a house where NASCAR was more important than football, or even, dare I say this in Canada, where NASCAR was more important than Hockey. I had to “Pick the guy yer gonna pull for”. So I watch the name ticker go by and I see a name I know from Indy car and Outlaws, that Tony Stewart kid. “I’ve seen him win in everything else” I thought. Ok….. the family Rivalry begins.
So what makes me worthy of writing about NASCAR? When you ask my kids who their favourite sports stars are they tell you Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Tony Stewart, Marcos Ambrose… and even sometimes Kyle Busch. In the land of Ice and Snow where Hockey is “Our Sport” the only games on the television in our house are from the weekend after Homestead until the Superbowl because after Daytona, NASCAR rules in my house.
See more of Jay’s photos at JDTimages